• Jenny Malcolm

FEAR or fear – 2 types as I see it

I’ve been assessing my own level of fear recently and have determined that fear shows up in 2 places for me.

The first sort of fear is what I call real fear. (in the moment)

The fear you get when that Mack Truck is bearing down on you as you cross the street. This fear is actually very useful! It activates the fight or flight response which ensures we move our body in a manner that gets us out of the immediate danger. We move, the danger passes and our body naturally returns to its normal calm state again. An amazing survival mechanism to keep us safe.

Then there’s the other sort of FEAR

Described quite nicely by Tony Robbins as False Evidence that Appears Real. And it feels very Real. Based on my past experiences or beliefs or what I’ve been told to expect. I didn’t think I was anxious. But when I obsess about a future event or worry about a situation that hasn’t yet happened, I am in fact predicting what might happen. This inadvertently turns on the fight or flight response. We think in pictures. I run a movie in my head of what might happen, based on past similar events or beliefs – and it’s scary. It feels real.

This is my body working perfectly

When I am in genuine momentary danger as with the example of crossing the street, I am so grateful that the fight or flight response immediately sends glucose, adrenalin and cortisol to my extremities to move me. No need for digestion or reproduction or thinking (brain logic) – just move me very fast. Because soon the danger will pass and the body returns to natural state of calm.

Trouble is my brain can’t detect what is real or imagined.

This FEAR starts with my thinking and actually I have control over that. This becomes a real problem when I continue to think the same thoughts and get the same fight and flight chemical response. In this case the response doesn’t turn off because the danger doesn’t pass – it stays in my head on repeat. Muscles tense, raised heart rate, shallow fast breathing, and obsessive thinking.

It can keep me stuck, unable to access the logic part of my brain. Choice and options and intelligence is great when you can access it.

So what can I do? Simple and powerful.

Turning off the fight or flight response is as simple as breathing – slow and deep. Before long I feel my heart and breathing slow, my head clear. Calm again. The more I do this, the more often I can access this state of calm quickly.

If you or someone you know, is stuck – I’d love to support you in finding life direction and getting more from life.

Jenny Malcolm jen.mmalcolm@outlook.com August 2020

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